Restaurant owners Annaline and Patrick Doelen on the e-cargo bike
"We want to have our own e-cargo bike next year."
Wine expert Annaline Doelen and her son Patrick run Wijnrestaurant Mes Amis, which serves local wines together with mostly local products. A number of producers are so local that orders can be collected by bike. Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar provided an e-cargo bike for Annaline and Patrick to test during December.
They aim to have their own company e-cargo bike next year. ‘We will be ready to help create an emission-free city centre! After all, entrepreneurship means thinking ahead,’ says Annaline.
Within 50 kilometres
In 2012, Wijnrestaurant Mes Amis won the ‘most welcoming business of Maastricht’ award thanks to the unique combination of the food and drinks served as well as the ambiance of the restaurant. The wines are sourced from the immediate vicinity, and Annaline says she was inspired by the Gulpener Brewery. ‘In their brewery, they only serve dishes prepared with local ingredients. They source their products within a radius of 25 miles, which is roughly 40 kilometres. The radius within which we aim to source products is 50 kilometres. You can find many delicious products within that distance. However, we do have to have the scampi delivered from a bit further away.’
12 boxes of wine
To collect all these local delicacies, Patrick took up the offer to use the e-cargo bike. ‘The cargo compartment at the front of the bike took some getting used to. At first, I paid close attention to the compartment when cycling. I remember being especially attentive when I stored 72 bottles of wine in it, but everything went smoothly. I went to pick up the first shipment, at Hoeve Nekum. The bottles are packaged in sturdy boxes, so we weren't worried about bottles getting broken. Pedalling is effortless when you select the turbo mode on the e-cargo bike. I'm really enthusiastic about the bike, but cycling 40 kilometres to Thorn on turbo mode might be pushing it. The e-cargo bike is perfect for cycling trips in and around the city. Cycling gives me energy!’
E-cargo bikes do not come cheap. The government is providing beneficial schemes. As an example, you can opt for a lease scheme with a tax benefit. Entrepreneurs who choose to purchase an e-cargo bike can deduct this purchase as an environmental investment. Zuid-Limburg Bereikbaar gives entrepreneurs advice on this topic. This is our way of making it easier to improve liveability. Annaline says, ‘If we all do something regarding sustainable mobility, it will make the city a more welcoming place. When we purchase our own e-cargo bike, I will make sure it has plenty of nice stickers on it. That will make it a nice example of sustainable hospitality!’
Getting to work
If you are an entrepreneur and want to contribute to sustainable urban logistics, please contact Francoise van den Broek.